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Hundreds of people are filing cases to receive financial compensation through a Nexium lawsuit. Studies link the popular heartburn drug to several side effects including fractures, kidney damage and dementia — some of these side effects are not listed on the drug’s safety information. People who suffered fractures from Nexium filed lawsuits against AstraZeneca, claiming the company failed to warn them of the risk.
Armed with this new data, pharmaceutical injury lawyers are now accepting cases against AstraZeneca on behalf of people harmed by the drug. Nexium patients who have experienced any of these conditions often turn to the legal system for justice and compensation for their pain, suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses.
For example, a Nexium patient who developed chronic kidney disease and received a kidney transplant filed the first federal kidney disease case against AstraZeneca in May 2016. The suit alleges the pharmaceutical company received complaints about Nexium’s link to kidney injury as early as 2004, yet continued to market the drug aggressively without adjusting its warning label.
|Study Date||Investigated Side Effect||Findings|
|April 2015||Acute Kidney Injury||Nexium patients more than twice as likely to develop|
|February 2016||Chronic Kidney Disease||Nexium patients had 20–50% higher risk of developing|
|February 2016||Dementia||Nexium patients had 44% higher risk of developing|
These severe side effects of Nexium use — chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury and dementia — are devastating medical conditions that affect patients and families financially and emotionally.
Developing these side effects can incur thousands in treatment costs and caregiving expenses, and is sometimes coupled with a patient’s loss of income due to their condition. Depending on a particular patient’s case, there may be grounds to file a lawsuit for damages.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines chronic kidney disease as any condition that causes reduced kidney function over a period of time. It defines acute kidney disease as sudden, temporary loss of kidney function that is sometimes fatal.
Treating these kidney conditions can require dialysis, kidney transplant and grafts — all of which are expensive and don’t always save a patient’s life. According to the institute, kidney failure cost the U.S. roughly $42.5 billion in 2009 — $29.03 billion in Medicare costs and $13.47 in private funds.
In 2009, machine-facilitated hemodialysis cost more than $80,000 per patient. Internal peritoneal dialysis cost more than $60,000 per patient. Kidney transplant cost $30,000 per patient.
Dementia involves severe memory loss to the point where a person cannot remember their loved ones, where they live or that they turned the stove on. This process is extremely difficult for patients, who are often confused, as well as family members, who watch their loved ones forget familiar faces and cherished memories.
This memory loss means dementia patients often pose a risk to themselves and others, and require round-the-clock care, typically in expensive assisted living facilities. There is no cure for dementia.
In 2010, it was estimated treatment and care for one dementia patient costs $42,000–$56,000 per year.
Many Nexium patients have taken legal action against AstraZeneca since discovering the drug can cause adverse side effects. These lawsuits can be pursued individually or as a group, called a class-action lawsuit.
These allegations against AstraZeneca are some examples of claims plaintiffs typically make against pharmaceutical companies in drug lawsuits.
In a pharmaceutical lawsuit, liability claims can fall under three categories:
Scientists only recently uncovered the link between Nexium and chronic kidney disorder, acute kidney injury and dementia, and lawyers are accepting cases and investigating these claims. However, many individuals have filed class-action and individual lawsuits against AstraZeneca regarding Nexium for other injuries over the years.
In May of 2016, Harry Mason from Madison County, Illinois, filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. Mason claimed that he began taking Nexium in 2006 which led to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. He was able to survive only after undergoing a kidney transplant.
His complaint states that he is seeking actual and compensatory damages, and punitive or exemplary damages. A verdict has not been reached.
In recent years, patients and families have also filed suits against AstraZeneca over Nexium and its increased risk of developing bone fractures.
Many plaintiffs found success in these cases, including a class-action suit from 2014 that forced the FDA to require stricter warnings on the labels of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors. Because of this case, Nexium labels now clearly state reduced bone density and risk of bone fractures is a possible severe side effect.
Other Nexium bone fracture lawsuits include one filed in 2013 on behalf of more than 500 California plaintiffs who say they suffered from bone fractures and other bone problems due to Nexium use.
Also, in 2012, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created a multidistrict litigation to merge 47 Nexium lawsuits filed in federal court.
In 2011, more than 30 Texans filed a Nexium bone fracture lawsuit. Several plaintiffs shared their story with the local NBC TV news station, Local 2.
The lead plaintiff, then-49-year-old Natalie Stempfer, said she fractured a bone in the middle of her foot while walking in the mall. She told the news outlet her doctors had never seen that type of fracture before, and it has since led to the development of a chronic pain condition that requires her to wear a boot.
Another plaintiff in the case, then-47-year-old Cindy Davidson, said she broke her leg when roller skating with her daughter.
According to court documents, the only male injured in the case — then-9-year-old Cole Williams — fractured his right hand after taking Nexium for a year and a half.
The plaintiffs charged AstraZeneca with negligence. They alleged the company failed to warn users of side effects, misrepresented the drug, committed fraud and produced a defective product.